Tips for driving more website traffic

The two main things you need to do if you want to drive more traffic to your website are: 1. optimise and 2. be active. Website optimisation helps you attract the customers looking for your services and being active helps you find them. How?

 

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Optimisation

Optimisation covers several aspects and involves website optimisation, content optimisation and mobile optimisation. All three are equally important and help your website be better ranked on search engines, easily found and readable for visitors.

Content optimisation covers keyword research and targeting, which enable you to write readable and well-targeted content that complies with SEO rules. Effective website content needs to be written for both search engines (the right keywords and keyword density) and for the visitors (again – the right keywords used in well-structured sentences that convey the right message directed at your target audience).

 

Mobile optimisation is also very important nowadays, which was not the case a few years ago. Optimising your website for mobile devices will help your website get better rankings because search engines rank responsive websites better, but this will also help your mobile visitors access and surf your website easily. One of our clients, Abbey Masterbatch,  approached us recently because they needed to make their website responsive and this helped the increase the volume of website visits by 25%.

 

Website optimisation is a general term and a properly optimized website will be optimized both in terms of content and mobile. However, there a few more things to look at when working on website optimisation – meta titles / descriptions, H1 tags, website speed, etc.. there is a number of useful tools that you can use to test your website and see how much it scores and understand the tests it is failing so you can improve these aspects. The tool I recommend is SEO Site Checkup – it is quite simple and easy to use plus it provides useful tips on how to fix things and make your website SEO compatible.

 

Being Active

Being active in terms of online and offline marketing or social media will give your website (and business) a voice. This will help you be heard or noticed and most importantly, it will engage your audience. More social activity is an effective way of attracting new customers and a great side of it – it allows you to be less formal if you choose that style of communication.

 

 

 

Hope you find my tips useful. If you’d like to read about how to increase online sales, here is an interesting post by Crazy Egg.

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Is a picture worth a thousand words?

According to the age old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

And, in today’s technologically advanced world, it’s a statement that continues to spark much debate as the way we consume information is continuing to change.

For example, the advent of the digital world means that information is now delivered in a wide range of different formats including pictures and videos, which are also prominent across social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

And with more businesses than ever before utilising new media technologies and creating an impact with new communication methods, it has once again raised the question whether a picture is worth a thousand words!

After all… pictures and videos can be far more impactful than text heavy content, especially in the fast paced digital world where content is digested quickly and updated at a rapid pace, leaving businesses little time to make an impact with the content they post and share.

But this is not to say that text is not equally important!

After all, you could have an all singing, all-dancing website or a professional social media page full of engaging content, but if the text accompanying your image is not up to scratch, the image can lose its impact. And remember, hiring a professional copywriter to create impactful, engaging and persuading content that will not only inspire action, but will also increase the credibility of your brand, is always a wise option.

This is because a website that is littered with errors or poor grammar can actually deter people from investing in your product or service!

Research has also revealed that 80% of the activities we do online are text based, so it’s vital that text is not overlooked in exchange for images.

For example although images can bring a story to life, so can words, and the vast majority of information or news is delivered far more effectively with text.

However, it’s important to note that one of the main problems with using text to deliver a news story or information is that the human brain finds it difficult to consume large bulks of text. So, the key is to keep text to a minimum, without compromising on the quality or missing out key details.

With this in mind, there is a clear difference in the way we consume and process both images and text, which is why both must work hand in hand to create an effective piece of content that will engage, inspire action and capture your target market.

And of course, words have been around for millions of years, and universally are understood around the globe. So, it’s highly likely that they will ever be replaced.

Improving Readability on Your Website

In an attempt to create a website that converts, people sometimes focus too much on the design, features, layout and other aesthetic aspects that do help conversions but are not crucial for it. What’s crucial when it comes to creating a website that converts visitors into customers is related to its content and readability.

 

readability

 

Fonts

The most important aspects of fonts are type and size. There are so many interesting font types which are not readable and choosing the font based on the looks while overseeing the readability can cost a business a large volume of sales. The easily readable fonts are Arial, Helvetica, Lucida Sans, Verdana, Trebuchet and they also look amazing.

Paragraphs and Bullet Points

Breaking down large content into paragraphs makes reading more comfortable for your visitors and in case you need to list or itemise certain things, I’d recommend using bullet points. When people visit your website for the first time, they usually just scan through the website looking for the most important information and if your website does not offer this, they will lose interest and leave the website.

To the point

Most visitors tend to be lazy and look for quick answers to their questions and if your website’s content is not concise, the visitors might lose focus and become uninterested in what they are reading. Concise and to the point content is what sells best and it is very important to remember when working on your website copy.

Visuals

Visual elements of a website come in quite handy when you want to draw visitor’s attention to certain parts of your website.  Using interesting images, videos, illustrations or even call to action buttons will help your visitors find relevant information in a matter of seconds and that’s exactly what you need. A website that successfully uses visual elements to draw visitors’ attention to relevant information and headings is ACS Installations, a London based company specializing in air conditioning installations, repairs and maintenance.

Interpretation vs Translation – What’s the difference?

Though interpreting and translation are related and many people use them interchangeably, they are two quite different linguistic disciplines. The two differ in the medium, processes and skills which will be explained in more detail in this post.

interpreting and translation

 

Interpreting

According to Globalization and Localization Association, interpreting is the process of rendering a spoken (or signed) message into another spoken (or signed language). Basically, it is paraphrasing which requires expertise in the subject matter and knowledge of cultures involved, however, the required level of accuracy is somewhat lower than what’s expected in the process of translation. There are 5 main modes of interpreting and these are  as follows:

  • Consecutive interpreting – the interpreter interprets the message after source-language speaker has stopped speaking
  • Simultaneous interpreting – the interpreter interprets the message in the target-language at the same time as the source-language speaker is speaking.
  • Escort/travel interpreting – the interpreter accompanies travellers on their trips and to meetings
  • Whisper interpreting – similar to simultaneous interpreting, howeve,r the interpreter is sitting next to the person they interpret for
  • Scheduled Phone or over-the-Phone interpreting – can be both consecutive and simultaneous and the interpreter interprets via telephone
  • On-demand phone Interpreting – it is conducted over the phone and with this approach, an interpreter can be found in a matter of minutes

 

Interpreters need to able to translate in both directions on the spot, meaning that this profession requires outstanding listening abilities.

Translation

Translation is the process of rendering text from a source language into a target language. It is a written process that requires extraordinary cultural skills and the ability to understand both the source language and the culture of the source-language country. The accuracy is crucial in the process of translation and so is the translator’s ability to write well and accurately in the target language.

Wrap up

Knowing the difference will hopefully help you understand which of these services would be more suitable for your needs and requirements. If you are looking for either interpreting or translation services, I’d recommend ITL, owned by Grace Tia Bon Bon – they are highly professional and offer all sorts of interpreting and translation services.

Tips for Finding a Good Locksmith

Very few of us plan on finding the right locksmith service before an urgent situation actually happens. Imagine yourself in a stressful situation of being locked outside your home and losing the home keys. Or locking your car without checking the keys when you need to rush to work. Would you have enough time to research your options and make sure you find the best locksmith, or would you be focusing on finding the quickest solution and potentially compromise on quality?

For this reason, we should all prepare for an emergency situation and find a good locksmith before we urgently need one. Here are a few tips on the most important things to consider when looking for a locksmith.

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24-hour Service

It is very important to choose a locksmith whose services are available to you 24 hours a day. Admittedly, there are some things that you can plan and schedule – when you need to replace, fix or change your doors for example, however, not knowing a good locksmith when you urgently need one can be a real nightmare.

Friends’ Recommendation

Asking your friends, family or acquaintances to recommend a good locksmith service can be a good starting point. Their recommendation should guarantee the quality of the service and reliability too, however, if they do not know of any locksmiths they can recommend, you will have to rely on your own resourcefulness.

Your Area

A very important point – you need to find a locksmith that covers your area. If you live in the North East for example, I’d recommend Newcastle Locksmiths because they are fast, reliable and available 24 hours a day, plus they cover Newcastle upon Tyne,  Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne Valley.

Locksmiths with Multiple Services

Finding a locksmith that provides multiple services such as residential, commercial locksmith and lock repair services, is very important because you can’t know what you will need a locksmith for next time.

Trustworthiness

Everybody wants to work with a trustworthy business. Whether you run a business or need to hire a company to help you with your personal needs, trustworthiness (and quality of course) is something you should never compromise on. So, make sure the locksmith you choose is an established and trustworthy business you will be able to trust and work with for a long time.

Research and Compare

Now that you have several potential locksmiths on your list, some of which may have come from a friend, some you may have found on the internet, you need to compare their services/prices and choose the one that seems the best. Though the ones offering their services at the lowest price might seem attractive, please remember to consider the reliability and overall quality of their service.

PR and Crisis Management

According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, PR or Public Relations is the process of building a reputation through what you say, do or through what others say about you. It is very important to point out that it is a strategic communication process that helps companies and organisations build relationships with their publics. Crisis management is a process in public relations by which an organization deals with a sudden emergency situation that might threaten its reputation.

Basically, both public relations and crisis management are about an organization’s reputation, the former focusing on building and managing that reputation year-round while the latter focuses on salvaging the reputation when a crisis hits.

PR crisis management is more than strategy management during a crisis; every company that values its reputation and cares about the relationship with its publics, manages its reputation proactively, showing the society its positive impacts all the time, not just in times of crisis.

A part of that proactive approach to PR crisis management is planning the necessary steps and actions to be taken even before a crisis event occurs. Planning and monitoring are what enables organizations to effectively and efficiently react in real time when a crisis hits. Every PR professional knows that fast response and reaction are a critical issue, so sharing as much information as possible in the earliest crisis phase is highly recommended – be it via social media, press releases or any other channel. Finally, being honest in times of crisis helps organisations build trust and credibility, which are the most important elements of reputation.

 

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Examples

There are many examples of how organizations handled crisis management, some were successful and some unfortunately – not so much. One of the most popular examples of successful crisis management is Pepsi in 1993. It started with claims of syringes being found in diet Pepsi cans. Pepsi urged stores not to remove the product during the investigation. The organisation released a video showing the production process and demonstrating that such tampering was impossible in their factories. Another video was also released later, showing surveillance from a convenience store where a woman was inserting a syringe into a can. The crisis having been resolved, Pepsi ran a series of campaigns, thanking the public for standing by the corporation.

Another not so successful example of crisis management is Exxon. In 1989, an Exxon Corporation’s tanker ran aground in the Prince William Sound in Alaska. Millions of gallons of crude oil were spilled into the waters off Valdez, killing thousands of fish, otters and other sea animals. Miles of coastline were polluted. Exxon apparently did not have a plan in place (or it was not a good one) so they did not deal with the media and the public; There was no communication plan and Exxon only appointed a public relations manager 4 years after the incident, when it was too late.

Wrap up

PR crisis management is about being prepared and about planning. The truth is, an organization can never truly and fully prepare for a crisis, but doing something for society through the good and bad times or having positive social and economic impact immensely helps an organization’s reputation.

If you need any PR services including online PR, media relations, internal communication, crisis management or similar, I recommend M.A.D Communications, a Newcastle PR agency. They are a group of dedicated, highly-skilled, and passionate professionals and I working with them has been a true pleasure.

How does your website UX affect SEO?

Most people see SEO only as keyword research and placement, meta tags or code changes, but SEO is more than that. It is about creating a good user flow and what could be more important for user flow than the efforts you have put into creating a good user experience for a website? SEO is not just about high rankings. Of course, your title tags and meta descriptions need to be optimized, but here are a few more things that people sometimes overlook when working on SEO.

 

 

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Website Layout

Website layout is of utmost importance when it comes to the simplicity and ease of website navigation. According to ExtendThemes, it has the role of structuring the information on a website, emphasising the most important elements of it. If your website is not easy to navigate and the most important information is not easy to find and follow, this will negatively affect the website’s user experience, which might lead to your visitors leaving the website immediately. When building a website for masterbatch suppliers, Abbey Masterbatch, we focused on the simplicity of website navigation and created a user-friendly website to boost user experience.

 

Calls to action

Creating eye-catching call to action buttons with interesting and engaging text will lead to more page visits and longer visit duration, proving that your website does have value to the visitors. As a result, search engines will see the relevance of your website and will start to rank it better for the targeted keywords.

 

Website speed

If your website loads slowly, the visitors will soon lose interest and will leave the website – that’s probably what everybody knows from their personal experience. But a slow-loading website will not only cost you potential visitors, but it will also cost you your rankings too – every SEO tool has a website speed test and the reason is simple – search engines never rank slow-loading websites highly.

 

Website responsiveness

A mobile-friendly website is a must nowadays and the reason is not just a good user experience. It is also important for your website’s rankings and this is one more example of how website user experience and SEO work hand-in-hand with one another.

 

Wrap up

Regardless of what is more important to website owners, user experience or SEO rankings, these two are inseparable in certain aspects. The above tips will hopefully help you make them work well together and create great websites both in terms of user experience and SEO rankings.

 

Top reasons why you need life insurance

The problem with this topic is that people in their thirties who may or may not have started families feel that this is a depressing thought to consider at their age. Why would they think about their own passing in such a happy phase of their life? It almost feels like making that move and buying life insurance calls for this unfortunate event we all fear.

But it does not have to be that way. I personally see it as a move people make to protect their families; a final good deed done for their loved ones.

Anyway, depressing thoughts aside and looking from a practical aspect, why do you need life insurance?

 

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Protect Your Family

 

Protecting one’s family is not a choice, it is more of an instinct. The main purpose of buying life insurance is providing financial support to your family and thus protecting them. It helps you make sure your family is financially stable, that your spouse’s lifestyle does not need to be compromised, or that your children’s education expenses will be taken care of.

 

Leave inheritance

In case your family does not need any immediate financial help I mentioned above, life insurance helps you ensure a solid future for your children in the long run.

 

It’s easier when you are younger

Like I said, younger people tend to avoid this move because they think it is too early to think about what happens when they are gone, but the fact is – insurance is much cheaper for younger people, especially if they are single.

 

For your peace of mind

 

Last but not least, it should bring you peace of mind. As reluctant as you might be to start this whole thing, once you are done with it, it will help you, I promise! Knowing that your family’s financial needs will be taken care of and that you’ve done everything you could to protect them should help you lead a worry-free life and be happy.

 

Conclusion

 

I’m not sure about you and what you consider the strongest reason for buying a life insurance policy, but for me, it is definitely the last one, which summarises the previous benefits of having life insurance. Renew Life’s slogan “Renew Life Give Your Family Peace of Mind” perfectly reflects the whole point of having life insurance and I agree with what they say 🙂 .

 

 

Fun corporate event entertainment ideas

Remember the time when corporate events were all serious with very little fun and entertainment? It’s as if ‘corporate’ used to mean “stiff”. But let’s admit it, the times have changed, and entertainment has become an important part of corporate events. This is what engages the audience and breathes life into these events. After all, it is the people who will attend these events and people like fun, no matter what title or position they hold.

 

The focus of corporate events is now on creativity and entertainment and there are so many options and interesting ideas that can help you win the hearts of your attendees.

 

There are several types of corporate events, such as seminars, conferences, team-building events but today I’ll be talking about interesting ideas that might help you spice up your company milestone or anniversary celebrations and make them a true success in every aspect. But before that, I will share a very useful post by Event MB with so many inspiring ideas to help you impress your attendees at your corporate event.

 

Interactive Food and Beverage Stations

This is a great trend that your guests will love. The stations are created to match the style of your wedding theme and there will be a chef or bartender responsible for explaining the origins of the food and beverage served. What your guests will particularly like about this is that they will be able to customize their food, desserts and drinks!

 

Photo Booth

Photo booth is a proven success. Wondering how I know this? Well, I’ve attended several parties with a photo booth and there was always a long queue in front of it. That’s how I know that everybody loves photo booths.

 

Magicians

Having a magician at your corporate event will add a circus element to your it and will awe your attendees. Their interesting and inspiring tricks will also leave the audience wondering “how the hell are they doing it?” which will make this event unforgettable.

 

Light Up Letters

Light up letters are such a great and pleasant distraction that you can use to personalize the event and make it outstanding! Adding different coloured bulbs to suit the colour theme of your event will add a stunning effect to your corporate event.

 

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Great Music

When there are great music and a powerful beat, your guests will simply have to move, dance or even jump. So be it a live band, DJ or maybe even karaoke where you will give your attendees an opportunity to be rockstars – I promise you, they will never forget this experience.

 

Magic Selfie Mirror

I’ve recently attended a corporate event run by AG Events, a corporate entertaining company, and my favourite part was the magic selfie mirror. It was so refreshing, fun and it sort of helped me reconnect with my inner child, which is probably why I truly enjoyed playing with it. The photos I’ve taken capture this amazing spirit and the atmosphere filled with laughter and true happiness.

 

Fire Performers

This looks somewhat dangerous, doesn’t it? Yes, and this is a sentiment you want to add to your corporate event, trust me! I’ve had a chance to attend an event with fire performers and their performance was so impressing that I had to try it myself (not at the event, of course 🙂 )

 

Wrap up

There are many ways you can spice up your corporate events and give your attendees a chance to enjoy themselves, have fun, laugh and even be silly if they please. These emotions colour your event and make an everlasting memory for your guests!

Things I’ve Learned in a Leadership Development Project

About a year ago our business started growing and as much as everybody was excited about this growth, there were so many changes and challenges we needed to overcome as a team. At one point it became clear that our leadership team needed profiling and coaching in this exciting period of transformation, otherwise, as absurd as this may sound, the company would literally not be able to ‘survive’ this growth.

 

We have contacted Mosaic Partners, a coaching & mentoring company and started a cooperation with them. The first step was understanding the profile of our leadership team. We have analysed the company culture together, identified the gaps within the executive team and after just a few sessions, Mosaic Partners provided a list of recommendations. We started implementing these recommendations and Kate was there for us every step of the way, with her insights, advice and the passion she had for everything she was doing.

 

Surprising things I have learned

 

I will skip the part about what it takes to be a good leader and won’t dwell on the qualities like integrity, flexibility, honesty, communication and so on. If you want to read about this, I’d recommend a TaskQue post, it perfectly summarises and explains the most important qualities of a great leader. I’d like to focus on the 2 most surprising (and core) things I’ve learned that helped me develop as a leader.

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Leaders are not born, they are made

 

I have read so many posts and books about personal qualities of a leader and after reading these I got an impression that leaders are born, not made – you can not learn to be confident or have integrity (some of the qualities of a great leader) – you are either born with these or not. Admittedly, deep down I felt that people had the potential to develop in these areas, and that gave me some hope. On the other hand, I’ve heard so many times about someone being “born to be a leader” and that made me feel discouraged because I needed this leadership course, so I obviously was not born a leader. But Kate convinced me otherwise, everybody can be made a leader if they are willing to start making decisions and take responsibility for them. So, the first decision you need to make if you want to become a (great) leader is the decision to grow, both personally and professionally. This brings me to the second most important thing I’ve learned.

 

Being a leader means you have made a promise to grow and evolve

 

People who have made this promise have everything it takes to be a great leader. How? Well, people who want to grow and evolve, people with a growth mind, are honest enough to admit they are wrong when they are. They are confident enough to admit that they are not perfect and that they can still learn, even from interns, which actually enables them to grow and evolve. People with a growth mind inspire others and empower them because they’ve decided to listen. And they have decided to listen because that is the only way to hear, learn and thus grow. These are just some examples and when I think about every quality of a great leader and analyse it, I can very easily find its root in one single thing – commitment to constantly develop and evolve.

 

So, put it simply, to become a good leader, you need to do 2 things: you need to believe that you can do that (that good leaders can be made) and you need to decide that you will use every opportunity to grow and develop. These are the most useful (and surprising!) things Mosaic Partners have taught me.